book review: the sound of a wild snail

by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

A woman in my last writing class did a book review of this book, and it was possibly the most eloquent book review I have ever read. Instead you are left with my more pedestrian review.

This book was WONDERFUL. Really wonderful. Bailey took a topic I thought I had figured out, namely snails, and complicated them. My previous understanding about snails: dumb, slimy, easy to kill with salt, some people eat them. Now I know a lot more.

Bailey was struck with some kind of illness that left her bedridden for years. A friend brought her a snail, and watching the snail, at the snail’s pace was the only activity Bailey was capable of for many months. She would lie on her side watching the snail. Day after day she and the snail co-existed. If you listen very closely, snails even make noise.

Of note:
“Some [snail species] (sic) are so minute that they would not hide the letter o in this print.” REALLY? That is small people.

Here you can see how snails have sex:

Bottom line: this is truly a book to read, regardless of whether you care about snails or not.

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